Meet James Bushill.
James was born in England and raised on books. In 2007, he travelled to Australia to study film, intending to stay for a year. Once there, he fell in love, first with the country, then with his future wife, and ended up staying for good.
When he’s not writing (or procrastinating), he works as a ferry deckhand in Brisbane, Queensland, where he lives with his long-suffering wife and their two cats, Molly and Huckleberry.
Now onto the interview…
Tell us how your transitioned from inspiring filmmaker to author.
From when I was young, I loved both writing and cinema, and hoped to combine the two in a screenwriting career. However, although I enjoyed writing screenplays, my reason for writing was the opportunity to share my stories with other people, and I hated the thought of handing the copyright of a story that I’d worked on for months to a film producer, knowing that there was little chance that the film itself would ever get made. So I made the decision to turn the first version of Adam, a screenplay that I wrote during a UCLA course, into a novel. I enjoyed studying film and I learned a great deal about story structure and dialogue from my studies, but I’m glad I made the transition to writing fiction.
Has your travels influenced your writing? If yes, give an example of a scene that you can make a connection with to a place you’ve visited.
Like all writers, I’m a keen observer of people and places, and I try and absorb everything I can from the places I visit, never knowing when a conversation snippet I’ve heard or a place I’ve been will fit perfectly with a scene I’m trying to write.
The opening scene in Adam is set in a mining tunnel and that scene is partly inspired by the memory of a trip on my dad’s narrowboat in England, travelling through an old brick-lined canal tunnel, miles long, with the lights of an oncoming boat far off in the distance. With that scene, I’ve tried to recreate the atmosphere rather than the exact location, that eerie feeling of being far underground, only an electric light away from complete darkness.
You have your indie debut novel, Adam, out right now. Do you have anything else in the works that you can share with us?
I’m currently working on “The Dark Kingdom,” an epic fantasy trilogy about a blind girl with a unique power. I’m hoping to release the first book in the series, tentatively titled, “The Girl who Dreamed of Eagles,” in mid-2018.
Why base Adam off of Frankenstein? Is there a personal connection that you have with Shelley’s Frankenstein?
I’ve always been fascinated by Frankenstein, arguably the first ever science fiction novel. I think the idea behind it, of someone creating artificial life and the problems that ensue, is timeless, and one that’s particularly relevant now that technology could give us that power in the near future. That possibility has inspired a number of media reports in recent years concerning the potential for some kind of evil A.I. to emerge and destroy us all. In my novel, I wanted to show that, just like in Frankenstein, if disaster does occur, we won’t be blameless.
Adam is set in the future and soley science fiction based. Are there certain characteristics for the science fiction genre that you had trouble, or found challenging, to incorporate into your novel?
I grew up reading my dad’s sci-fi collection so I was raised on the classic science fiction stories from the 50s and 60s. With so many talented authors pushing the boundaries of the genre since then, my main challenge when writing Adam was to come up with an original story inspired by the classics without resorting to tired old tropes. Hopefully I succeeded.
Is there anything you wish you had done definitely throughout writing, editing, and publishing Adam?
I don’t have many regrets but I do wish that I’d been a bit more sceptical when it came to the writing advice I found in books and online. Whilst it was well intentioned and some of it has been useful, it ended up leading me down a number of blind alleys with working methods that didn’t fit my natural writing style.
How do you feel about self-publishing? Tell us a bit about your experience self-publishing Adam.
When I finished my first draft of Adam, I was still planning to send it off to traditional publishers, but the more I found out about self-publishing, the more I liked the sound of it, and in the end, I didn’t send a single query to traditional publishers. I won’t deny that it has been a lot of work, from finding an editor to typesetting the book myself, and it wouldn’t suit every author, but personally I’ve found self-publishing very rewarding.
Is there anything else you want to share?
Thanks for featuring me on your site and thank you to everyone who’s read Adam so far.
Thank you James for the interview!
Check back tomorrow for an excerpt of Bushill’s novel Adam!
Interested in Adam, click here for my review!